Biogen opens seventh UK food waste AD plant

UK anaerobic digestion (AD) plant operator Biogen has officially opened its 2MW Merevale facility, the company’s seventh food waste recycling plant in the UK.

The plant’s, located near Atherstone in Warwickshire, processing capacity of 45,000 tonnes of waste food from household and commercial sources annually joins Biogen’s network of AD plants that together recycle a quarter of a million tonnes of waste.

From this heap of rubbish, Biogen produces 100GW of electricity (enough to power the town of Harrogate) and a valuable liquid fertiliser for farmland.

The facility was opened by Lord Henry Plumb, former president of both the European Parliament and the National Farmers Union.

“It’s fascinating to look back and think that 600 men were digging coal from under the site of the plant where eight men are now producing energy from the products of waste, which would otherwise have been going into landfill,” he said.

The plant was designed and built in collaboration with Rolton Group, a UK engineering company.

“We have been working with Biogen on various projects since 2007 and our engineering teams thoroughly enjoyed using their expertise to help create this state-of-the-art AD plant. We’re delighted to have been a part of such an innovative project which will generate truly sustainable, low carbon energy,” Andrew Chisem, director at Rolton Group, said.

As part of the ceremony, CEEQUAL, the evidence-based sustainability assessment, rating and awards scheme for civil engineering, presented both the Merevale site and Biogen’s Bygrave plant near Baldock in Hertfordshire with certificates  in recognition for the way the design and build of the two plants has  improved sustainability in civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping and the public realm.

Each of Biogen’s seven plants also holds the PAS 110 certification by the Biofertiliser Certification Scheme, ensuring that the digestate produced from AD is safe and fit for spreading to farmland as a replacement for chemical fertilisers.  

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